Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. If you decide not to breastfeed or stop breastfeeding, it is possible to restart, but it will be difficult. Giving infant formula to a breastfed baby will reduce your milk supply.
The average, healthy term baby should not need supplementation. If there are reasons that make you and your baby’s health care provider think supplementation is appropriate, consider these four points:
- Offer the smallest amount of supplement needed to settle your baby. Note that breastmilk is the first choice to supplement your baby. Breastmilk is made for your baby, formula is only needed when human milk is not available.
- Offering the supplement by spoon, medicine cup, syringe or lactation aide, rather than bottle, may be less likely to interfere with his learning to breastfeed
- If you choose to use a bottle to feed your baby then the “paced bottle feeding technique” is suggested.
Methods of Supplementation:
Lactation Aide: works well when the baby is latching, but not getting enough milk at the breast.
Homemade lactation aide
- Pump at least eight times a day, to stimulate milk production adequately
- Choose a low-allergenic formula, if you have a strong family history of allergies and expressed breastmilk is not available
The homemade lactation aides are made with a feeding tube and a larger hole put into a bottle nipple. They often require replacement after one or two weeks. The initial tubes are available through the breastfeeding clinics at Public Health Department and through the private lactation services.
Using a lactation aid written resource from Dr. Jack Newman
Video of using the lactation aid from Dr. Jack Newman
Lactation Aide for long term use also called a supplemental nursing system
Spoon Feeding: used when baby is not latching, works well for newborns to give small amounts of colostrum. Avoids introduction of artificial nipples.
Finger Feeding and Cup Feeding: used when baby is not latching or mom needs to be away from baby. Avoids introduction of artificial nipples.
Bottle Feeding: Often used when baby is not latching. Be aware that some babies do not go well from bottle back to breast. If bottle feeding, it may be best to use the “paced bottle feeding technique” to feed your breastfeeding baby.